Just thinking here, but perhaps investors have finally come to realize that low interest rates aren't going to kill the lifeco's and are feeling more comfortable investing in them. You are hearing positive noises from a bunch of them these days.
The rise in NWLI was capped in the low $150's back in July, February and last October. Hopefully this is the time it actually breaks out. If it does, looks like the next level it should hit is $175 (according to my limited chart reading abilities).
I think that perhaps the selling is done and everyone who wanted out is out and now the natural buying takes is up. The last quarter was good, but certainly nothing out of the ordinary.